While the world has been fighting COVID-19, US Representative Grace Meng and US Senator Mazie Hirono have been fighting in Congress for a bill to investigate anti-Asian hate crime. Why? Since the start of the pandemic, attacks on the Asian-American community have increased. Some point to the fact that former President Trump called the novel coronavirus, the “China virus” and “kung flu,” which incorrectly labeled and linked the spread of the virus to the Asian community. On April 22nd, every member of the US Senate, except one, passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes bill, and on May 18th, the bill passed in the US House of Representatives by a vote of 364-62. This bill will expedite investigations of anti-Asian hate crimes, as well as make it easier for people to report such crimes on the local level. Why is this such a big deal? According to Representative Meng, “The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a necessary step to confront the second pandemic of racism and discrimination. We cannot mend what we do not measure.” On May 20th, President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law.
May 28, 2021